[Ed. – We report, you decide on this one. There’s always the possibility that Bergdahl didn’t actually want to come back, and may be deeply conflicted about his current situation. We know very little about his state of mind over the last 5 years. It must be something big going on in there, however, if he doesn’t even want to reassure his mom. Outside of the most hardened of criminals, I’ve never known or known of a young man of his age who wouldn’t drop everything to do that.]
PARIS—Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has declined to speak to his family after five years in harsh captivity that included being held in a cage after one attempted escape, according to a U.S. official familiar with the Army soldier’s recovery.
Doctors treating Sgt. Bergdahl at a U.S. military hospital in Germany are moving slowly because of the swirling controversy over the soldier’s release, the U.S. official said.
While he spent five years in captivity after being captured by Afghan insurgents in 2009, Sgt. Bergdahl doesn’t yet want to talk to his family on the phone, the official said. …
Speaking on CNN, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the administration’s decision to exchange Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban detainees, saying it would have been “offensive and incomprehensible” to leave an American prisoner of war behind.
“To leave an American behind, in the hands of people that torture him, cut off his head, do any number of things, and we would consciously choose to do that? That’s the other side of this equation,” Mr. Kerry said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t think anybody would think that is the appropriate thing to do.”
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), speaking later on CNN, said he wouldn’t have released the five Taliban detainees, saying they were evaluated during their time in Guantanamo as too great a risk and would put other American servicemen at risk. He said the Qatari government “is not renowned for its ability to keep things in security.”
“I think we should do everything in our power to win the release of any American being held but not at the expense of the lives and well-being of their fellow servicemen and women,” said Mr. McCain, who was himself a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “When we join the military, we know we take certain risks, and among those risks are wounding, death, imprisonment.”
Mr. Kerry didn’t rule out the possibility of the detainees attempting to return to fight the U.S., but warned “they also have the ability to get killed doing that.”